Government Links to US Anti-Drug Campaign

Questions are being raised after Health Canada’s new anti-drug website for youth included links to a similar campaign being run in the US.

Health Canada says it had no choice but to link to several American sources on its new youth anti-drug website as no applicable Canadian sources existed. However, others see it as the government moving Canadian policy more in line with its southern neighbour.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced the new “youth component” of the government’s National Anti-Drug Strategy on Dec. 15. The campaign centers on a website hosted by Health Canada called, which includes links to a campaign run by the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, as well as interactive graphics from MSNBC and the University of Utah.

Health Canada spokesman Gary Scott Holub said the move was not an endorsement of American anti-drug strategies. Rather, he said linking to these websites was necessary after a fruitless search for Canadian resources.

“When initially searching for web interactive tools and programs to feature in this section, no Canadian resources were found,” said Mr. Holub. He refused to comment on the merits of the US strategy, pointing to the Health Canada website’s disclaimer that it is not responsible for external content.

Mr. Holub suggested several branches of the department were involved in the website’s implementation—including external affairs, public relations, marketing and the controlled substances bureau—and that this made it difficult to pinpoint who made the decision to link to US-based anti-drug material.

“There’s a marketing aspect to this campaign as well as a scientific aspect. Different directorates and bureaus within our department [are involved]. It’s rather large,” said Mr. Holub.

One expert, however, sees the links as a telltale sign the government is attempting to beef up the credibility of its national anti-drug campaign in order to resonate with voters who approve of the traditionally American war on drugs.

“Our anti-drug policy has become more propagandistic than the previous one under the Liberals, and it’s become more punitive,” said University of Ottawa drug policy professor Eugene Oscapella. “It’s about ideology, it’s about what policies we can bring in, to go ahead and get votes.”

Mr. Oscapella, a founding member of the reform group Canadian Foundation For Drug Policy, noted the shift is “ironic” considering the Obama administration’s approach to drug policy differs significantly from the Bush administration’s zero-tolerance approach.

The US Justice Department announced in October 2009 that it will no longer prosecute those who use and distribute medical marijuana in 14 US states that allow this practice. US Attorney General Eric Holder suggested in a memo to these states the department would prefer to use its resources for other purposes.

The Obama administration has also announced support for government-funded needle exchanges and other techniques that fall under the rubric of harm reduction.

“For years, the excuse Canadians used for not making our drug policies less punitive was that the Americans wouldn’t allow us. Now there’s quite strong evidence that the United States is beginning to moderate its stance on drug policy,” Mr. Oscapella said. “Obama himself admitted that he used cocaine and marijuana as a youth. He’s declared the war on drugs to be an utter failure when he was a Senator a number of years ago.”

Ms. Aglukkaq announced the campaign at Ottawa’s Mother Teresa High School, alongside Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, the prime minister’s parliamentary secretary. Neither was available for comment.

NDP Substance Abuse critic Libby Davies called the Health Canada website “very disappointing” and suggested that the department has been influenced by the government’s “ideology about drug use.”

“I really do believe that that political message has gone down the line to whatever bureaucrats who work on these things, and what gets transmitted on these websites,” Ms. Davies said. Instead, she said she would prefer the funds for the website be spent on community outreach initiatives.

“Maybe there’d be some use for a website if it were linked to other community-based resources, as part of a program in a local community,” Ms. Davies said.

“But to have a page on Health Canada, and to have it so dull, and boring, and bureaucratic, and just not based on reality of what young people are facing, I think it’s a waste.”

In addition to increasing illicit drug use media awareness campaigns, the Conservative government spent all last year trying push Bill C-15, which would have amended the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to force mandatory minimums for some drug crimes, through Parliament.

Mr. Oscapella appeared in front of both the House Committee on Justice and Human Rights in May, and the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in November, to speak to the bill.

Although the bill made it through the entire legislative process, passing Third Reading in the Senate on Dec. 14, it did not receive Royal Assent before the government prorogued Parliament, and thus became extinct. It will have to be reintroduced in the next parliamentary session. C-15 was actually the reintroduction of a 2007 bill that met the same fate.

– Article from Embassy.



  1. Anonymous on

    Hate Crimes for Christmas

    Hate crimes for Christmas
    By Brenda Norrell
    Censored News
    Photo: Cross burning at nighttime Ku Klux Klan (KKK) rally, Photo by Hank Walker, 1946, Time Life

    Hate crimes against African-Americans and the number of hate groups increased in the United States during this decade, according to US statistics. But what of the hate crimes on the US/Mexico border, where white Border Patrol agents kill people of color in cold blood, as was the case with Francisco Javier Dominguez Rivera, 22, from Morelia, Mexico?

    Why is it not a hate crime when white Border Patrol agents and white police officers beat and murder Tohono O’odham, and other people of color, on the backroads near the US/Mexico border?

    Why is it not a hate crime when the US federal court prosecutes volunteers for giving water to a dying person on the southern border?

    Why is it not a hate crime when the United States kills civilians with drones during rogue assassinations in Iraq or Afghanistan? Why is it not a hate crime when Navajo, Lakota, Tohono O’odham and other Indian women, children and elderly go to bed cold, sick and hungry — without food, medicine and firewood — ignored by the United States and their own elected councils?

    Television news, especially CNN, can be singled out for the rise of institutionalized racism and nationalism. CNN champions the rights of white victims in mind-numbing repeated broadcasts. When was the last time CNN sought justice for a black, American Indian or Asian missing or murdered child or desperate parent? CNN’s chosen victims are more often than not, fair-haired blondes. The people that CNN and other television news focus on to shame and vilify are more often than not people of color.

    Television news was responsible for fueling the border xenophobia, which resulted in billions of dollars of profits for Boeing border wall builders and surveillance profiteers. Over the past decade, it was television news, particularly CNN, that fueled global intolerance, racial and religious prejudice toward people from the Middle East. This institutionalized religious prejudice targeted the followers of the Prophet Mohammad. It was primarily CNN that manipulated the facts and swayed public opinion concerning the United States’ oil and opium rich wars in the Middle East.

    Instead of calling for the prosecution of Bush and Cheney for war crimes, in violation of the Geneva Conventions prohibiting torture, television news anchors broadcast Cheney’s book tour.

    The newsmakers, including global wire services, treated press releases written by politicians and corporations as facts, fictionalizing the news on issues ranging from the war and the US borders, to uranium mining and power plants on American Indian lands.

    Canadian mining companies assassinated Indigenous Peoples in Guatemala and elsewhere. Canadian mining companies, including Barrick Gold and Cameco uranium, targeted Indian lands in the US, and around the world, to poison their land and water with gold and uranium mining. Television news ignored the facts.

    What were the most censored news stories in 2009? It was all censored. The media stopped questioning the reasons for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The United States continued its covert drug operation for opium and other drugs in Afghanistan, issued oil contracts in Iraq in 2009, after smuggling yellowcake out of Iraq for the private company Cameco in Canada in 2008. The news media failed to expose the United States role in the drug violence of northern Mexico, both in trafficking and the demand for drugs. News makers failed to expose the fact that the most brutal torturers in Mexico, the Zetas, were originally trained as US Special Forces.

    People of color, considered expendables by the US, continued to be targeted in television commercials and by military recruiters to die in Iraq and Afghanistan, a war with no real purpose and no possibility of victory. Military recruiters are masters of deceit. The lies of military recruiters seldom become public after enlisted men and women become soldiers. Women, who military recruiters promised would return to their home communities as recruiters, quickly find themselves on the battlefield, fearing they will be raped by their fellow soldiers in the bushes. These reasons, including the purposeless of the war, are among the reasons that the US now has its highest ever rate of suicides in the military.

    The number one censored issued in 2009 was the escalation of human rights violations during the Obama administration, including the escalation of the war, continued approval of CIA kidnappings (secret renditions,) repression of the US torture photos, failure to hold Bush and Cheney accountable for war crimes, and the use of drones for assassinations and killing of civilians.

    One pivotal turning point occurred late in 2009, according to statements from Native Americans. The Obama administration approved oil drilling in the Arctic. Alaska Natives from the Chukchi Sea were in Copenhagen for the Climate Talks when the Interior announced the decision to devastate the Arctic.

    Already, the Obama administration had bailed out the billionaires, the stockholders, bankers and carmakers, leaving homeowners homeless and Native Americans with less than ever. The much-publicized Obama invitation to the White House extended to American Indian leaders, turned out to be an invitation to stand in line to get into the Interior Building, without even a handshake from the president.

    There were victories. The Indigenous Environmental Network at the Climate Summit in Copenhagen proved that a dedicated group of people could make a difference, delivering a powerful message for the protection of Mother Earth, to the world. Indigenous voices, including those to halt the Tar Sands in Canada, were carried around the world, by Democracy Now! ABC Nightly News and other media.

    The Mohawks at the northern border, stood firm against the oppression of the colonized governments in the US and Canada at the border. In their homelands, Western Shoshone, Navajo, Lakota, Pueblo, Supai, Gwich’in and other Indigenous Peoples stood firm against coal fired power plants, oil drilling, uranium mining and gold mining in their homelands.

    There were more victories in desperate times. Ben Carnes, Choctaw, fasted for freedom for Leonard Peltier, outside the White House. Crow Creek Sioux Chairman Brandon Sazue established a solitary stronghold in a snow blizzard of central South Dakota after the IRS seized lands of the economically desperate Indian Nation. Havasupai and Acoma Pueblo hosted gatherings to halt uranium mining in the Southwest. A delegation of Native Americans visited Palestine.

    Clan Dyken and friends brought food and chopped wood for Navajos resisting relocation and Peabody Coal mining. Dooda (NO) Desert Rock fought against another coal-fired power plant in their Navajo homeland. Western Shoshone fought to protect sacred Mount Tenabo from Barrick Gold’s mining and won a victory in the Ninth Circuit federal court. O’odham struggled against the oppression of the Border Patrol/Homeland Security and their own elected legislative council. Save the Peaks continued to fight to protect sacred San Francisco Peaks from snow made from sewage water.

    The campaign “No Olympics on Stolen Land,” was launched in Canada. The effort received a boost when border officials detained and harassed Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. Canada’s effort backfired when Goodman was interrogated as to whether she would speak out against the 2010 Olympics. The oppression triggered global media and the message: “No Olympics on Stolen Land.”

    When President Lyndon Johnson wanted to censor voices against the war in Vietnam, Johnson censored Buffy Sainte Marie and drove her out of the music business in the US. Who will sing those songs now? Who will sing for the men and women dying without purpose in Iraq and Afghanistan? Who will sing of the “Universal Soldier” dying because of the lies of politicians?

    Racism has not been eradicated in the US; it has been covered up.

    The US is a society built on the blood of Africans kidnapped and tortured in slavery. The US society is built on the genocide of American Indians. Entire Indian Nations were massacred and others driven far from their homelands. Texas, which continues its legacy of lynching of blacks and the genocide of Native Americans with the death penalty and executions, is a state where racism and hate crimes grow like fungus. California and Texas have the largest number of hate groups in the US, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. There are 84 hate groups in California and 66 in Texas. The region with the largest number of hate groups is the Deep South.

    Hate crimes continued on and around Indian lands in this decade, with beatings and murders of Native Americans, the targeting of American Indians by police officers in bordertowns and the targeting of American Indian women as victims of crimes. In the Deep South in 2009, arrests continued for cross burnings at the homes of blacks. There were arrests for hate speech and the exposure of a justice of the peace that refused to marry an interracial couple.

    Knowledge is power. On Christmas Day, Showtime broadcast the movie, “The Great Debaters,” the true story of a black debate team from Marshall, Texas, in northeast Texas, that debated Harvard in the 1930s.

    There is a powerful scene when the debate team arrives at the scene where a black man has just been lynched by a white mob. The team narrowly escapes an attack by the mob. It is this experience of witnessing the lynching and the man’s charred remains that ultimately leads to the debate team’s victory.

    The debate team teacher delivers this riveting advice: When one is slammed to the ground, again and again, get up again and never give up.

    New York Times: Federal Hate Crimes Cases Highest Since 2001
    Hate Crimes on the Rise
    Buffy Sainte Marie Uncensored:
    The Great Debaters
    Also see: The Nation: Secret ICE Facilities
    ICE can make people disappear:
    National: Secret ICE facilities

    La Setas as now said Marc Emery is a emeny of the people all SETEA are to have not a thing to do with this whiteman he is our enemy.

  2. CanadianLiberty on

    Marijuana will NEVER be legalized in Canada until the US has entirely ended marijuana prohibition within its own borders?


    The border issues. The US would undoubtedly send National Guard reserve troops and diligently inspect all Canadian cargo (and citizens) coming through the border, if we ended prohibition before they do. The Drug War is AMERICA’S war, no matter what country it’s in. The NDP claims they will end prohibition, but they’ll just tell you that to get your vote. All so they can give a nice nut-rub to all their buddies in the profitable self-serving unions c/o the taxpayers money.

  3. Anonymous on

    The hidden motive here is not to persuade young people to avoid marijuana but rather to induce them to use alcohol instead. I hope Health Canada will do a thorough follow up study citing the numbers of young people who died from alcohol as a result of this campaign.

    My step-son’s best friend was murdered by a psychotic alcoholic. He was in his late 30s and left behind two small children. My niece’s 18 month old baby was murdered by a psychotic alcoholic 16-year-old. My wife and child were nearly killed by a drinking driver driving a non-insured vehicle with summer tires. All of this has happened in the past 12 months in a community of less than 3,000 people. I guess we better brace ourselves for an increase of alcohol-induced violent deaths among our young people because of Health Canada’s pro-alcohol ideology.

    The real risk here is to the drunken perpetrators of violence. If the police, Crown prosecutors, judges, and Health Canada are all going to promote violence and laugh at the victims of violent crime, then perhaps the time has come for the victims to take violent retribution against those who promote alcohol-induced homicides. It’s all the justice we have left.

  4. From the 70s on

    Does Health Canada play politics with Canadians youth’s lives ?

    I would think being from northern Canada (that has a lot of alcohol abuse) that the NEW Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq would of noticed the folly of having a National drug strategy ( ) that doesn’t include the actual drug that kills most of our youth more than all other drugs combined, the drug ALCOHOL (not to mention reason most youth are in prison because of its intoxication).

    Not one word (maybe one word now) is mentioned about the drug alcohol at the National Anti-Drug Policy website (IDEOLOGY before protecting our children ?). Its not like Health Canada has a website on the drug alcohol, it doesn’t. Its like alcohol doesn’t exist.

    The drug alcohol has the HIGHEST intoxication of ALL drugs (marijuana has the LOWEST, see for drug chart comparisons, actual facts as compared to the usual LIES, MYTHS and propaganda that for the most part our very political police lobby tell us and the Harpers who CHOOSE to be IGNORANT). It seems CLEAR for those who understand intoxication, alcohol having the HIGHEST makes it the most DANGEROUS of ALL drugs especially to YOUTH who don’t use the drug alcohol in moderation. The drug alcohol is so intoxicating, that you actually loose the ability to even decide if you can drive due to its extreme intoxication.

    If you check out the story at CBC’s website, “Alcohol most dangerous drug for drivers: study”, driving under the influence of marijuana has a 2X chance of death. Driving just over 0.08 on alcohol has a 40X chance of death. At 2x over the limit, its 80X in the same report.

    The drug alcohol should/must be included to educate youth and we need a Health Minister that comprehends this.

    Also, at the very least, we should be moving all our alcohol addicts (including our Police alcohol addicts who have a much higher rate of substance abuse than civilians, with their abuse of the drug alcohol, alcohol abusers are the most dangerous since its the intoxication that makes a drug dangerous to the rest of us around the abuser, here in BC Canada, we have lots of evidence of this problem in our Police) to medical marijuana for a safer society ASAP.

    It must be a crime when your Health Ministry plays politics.

  5. From the 70s on

    Health Canada has been politicized.

    This is an outrage in a democracy when your Health Ministry starts to LIE to the PEOPLE on HEALTH matters.

    And Health Canada cries WOLF.

    The previous Health Minister Tony Clement told Canadians on national TV (CBC Politics) in Oct 2007 when promoting the NEW National drug strategy and Bill C-26 (now called BILL C-15, the FULL and FAILED US War on Drugs with mandatory minimum sentences for so-called marijuana offenses, i.e. Police become Judge and Jury over MILLIONS of Canadians including your kids bringing the chaos and violence of the USA to Canada) that MARIJUANA IS NOW BEING LACED WITH CHEMICALS, the famous RCMP Marijuana is LACED with Meth/Chemicals LIE, an insidious and sinister LIE to tell and mislead the public on.

    This is a preposterous notion for anyone (including our RCMP who claim to be experts) who knows the illicit drug black market and the Health Minister’s own department’s evidence (and Directors of DAS) refuted this LIE (did the Health Minister know of DAS test results or was he incompetent on the file ?).

    Yet he told us it. Did the RCMP tell it to the Minister like they have LIED to ALL of us when using it (to scare us, not to inform us or the kids since ITS NOT TRUE) ? Anyone who knows the black market knows this is preposterous and Health Canada itself HAS THE EVIDENCE.

    The department Health Canada DAS (Drug Analysis Services) test all seized marijuana in Canada for the courts and has evidence that showed that over a 4 1/2 year period from 2003 to 2007, 14 samples of 194,454 marijuana tested samples contained both marijuana and meth, cross-contaminated as DAS stated (DAS said they have NO CONTROL on how the RCMP interpret the test results).

    Health Canada refused to retract the LACED LIE when confronted by their OWN Health Canada DAS evidence.

    Meth is a tool of fear (by the RCMP and now Health Canada or so it appears, they make it up, why else tell us a LIE ?).

    I don’t trust the current Health Canada. They even LIE to the kids now.

    Health Canada cries WOLF.

    So what else is new ?

  6. Advertising Critic on

    this commercial looks like pot is healthy, just chillin’ relaxing laughing, with big smiles, EVERY KID WILL WANT TO SMOKE NOW JUST TO NOT LOOK LIKE A HOMO! There are no girls in the sober scene at the end, he will become gay if he doesn’t use pot! the E’s are same thing as candy, every gateway drug is Sugar! Caffeine! Tobacco!

  7. Anonymous on

    Yeah because Catholic Tokers don’t go to jail /sarcasm.

  8. Chris Bennett on

    Interestingly, the Crown’s main witness against the Church of the Universe G13 case in Ontario, is a Catholic priest.

  9. Chris Bennett on

    Canada’s Proposed Decriminalization of Marijuana:
    International Implications and Views

    The reports of the House of Commons and Senate Special Committees in relation to cannabis in 2002 caused some immediate concern in the United States. The Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, John Walters, warned that relaxed marijuana laws would lead to an increase in drug abuse in Canada, stating, “When you weaken the societal sanctions against drug use, you get more drug use. Why? Because drugs are a dangerous addictive substance.” The United States also expressed concern that liberalized marijuana laws in Canada would lead to more drugs crossing into the United States. For example, Colonel Robert Maginnis, a drug policy adviser to U.S. President George W. Bush, asserted that the United States would not look kindly on changes to Canadian marijuana laws and warned that it would be forced to take action. He stated, “It creates some law enforcement problems and I think it creates some trade problems and some perception problems, especially in the U.S., with regard to whether Canada is engaged in fighting drug use rather than contributing to drug use” and “We’re going to have to clamp down even stronger on our border if you liberalize and contribute to what we consider a drug tourism problem.”

    After Canada introduced its initial marijuana bill in May 2003, John Walters, the U.S. Drug Control Policy Director, warned that if the bill passed, the result would be increased security and lengthy delays at the border. He was quoted as saying, “We don’t want the border with Canada looking like the U.S.-Mexico border,” “You expect your friends to stop the movement of poison toward your neighbourhood” and “We have to be concerned about American citizens … When you make the penalties minimal, you get more drug production, you get more drug crime.” David Murray, special assistant to Mr. Walters, stated that the proposed decriminalization initiative was “a matter we look upon with some concern and some regret” and “We would have no choice but to respond.” Mr. Murray was also quoted as saying, “We have a working partnership that has been mutually beneficial with enormous amounts of trade. Eighty-five percent of Canada’s exports go into the United States. … That trade is mutually beneficial, but we might have to make sacrifices for the integrity of the border on both sides if we recognize that drug trade is hurting us.”

    Also in 2003, Asa Hutchinson, Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, was quoted as saying, “We don’t want the northern border to be a trafficking route for drugs” and “If countries have divergent policies on drugs, then that increases the potential of the borders becoming a trafficking route.” Will Glaspy, spokesman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, was quoted as saying, “Liberalizing drug laws will lead to an increase in drug use … and drug supplies. They will lead to increased security at the border.” – (Canada’s Proposed Decriminalization of Marijuana: International Implications and Views, 2004)

    The US pressures were so extreme that in 2003, the then Canadian Justice Minister, Liberal MP Martin Cauchon, who largely championed Canada’s proposed decriminalization legislation, took the Canadian bill to the White House , where after a discussion with then US Drug Czar John Ashcroft, he returned with a vastly changed proposal. Jack Layton, leader of the NDP, who was somewhat more outspoken on the issue at the time, responded to this visit, saying, “There goes Canadian sovereignty up in smoke. […] Here’s the American government advising on what Canadian policy will be before the House of Commons even has a look at it. It’s quite astounding.”

  10. Scott on

    Crazy shit, I can’t believe some people fall for this crap! I bet that kid smokes weed irl

  11. Anonymous on

    For a person who hates the cannibis culture so much, you sure seem to be spending a lot of time on this site calling people names and putting us down.

    A gluton for punishment I see. Who’s the one with mental disabilities here? The mirror will tell you.

    Go lose yourself in a bottle of bud lite and die sooner from liver disease.

    Get a life.

  12. Harry Pothead on


    Get these idiots out of office !!!!!

  13. Anonymous on

    I think everyone who sees that ad wants to smoke pot and maybe take ecstasy

  14. Kyle ball on

    I like how all the kids in this party are drinking, conservatives are a bunch of drunks, I like how he goes from maybe taking a toke to a full blown x-head in like 3.2 seconds and if someone comes back and say “oh that wasn’t beer, it was water duhh” well that wasn’t a joint it was a tobacco cigarette, the real killer weed.

  15. Samson on

    I seem to remember there being a lot more booze than bud at most high-school parties I attended way back when……and the stoners were and still are WAY more composed under the influence than the drinkers…..just my observation

  16. bud lite on

    idiots like you see a bonfire and think of blazin’ joints,,you see a white stick and think its a joint, you see an aspirin and want to take ecstasy.. you hear running shoes in the dryer and think its techno music and start dancing. You hear a fart and you think its a drive by shooting

  17. Pedro on

    “Ms. Aglukkaq announced the campaign at Ottawa’s Mother Teresa High School” Federal justice-minister, Rob Nicholson is a former Catholic school-district trustee, and this policy is characterized by Intolerance and Punishment (wanting to put non-believers into lengthy prison-detention)

  18. Anonymous on

    That ad made me want to take ecstasy and smoke pot, really tempting. Cool techno music. Made me remember earlier days of youth partying.

    It’s like an ad for drugs. How smart.